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Big Ten Power Rankings: Michigan makes its move, Purdue pushes into title game

On3 Staff Report11/28/22
Article written by:On3 imageOn3 Staff Report
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A season’s worth of anticipation culminated in a Michigan beatdown of Ohio State in ‘The Game,’ with the Wolverines looking to make a repeat appearance in the College Football Playoffs. Needless to say, that result prompted a change atop our Big Ten Power Rankings this week.

Elsewhere, the Big Ten West got wacky as Iowa melted down and Purdue claimed the division’s spot in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Let’s take a look at the results from the weekend.

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Today we update the Big Ten Power Rankings following Week 13 games.

2022 Big Ten Power Rankings – Week 13

  1. Michigan (+1)

All year long the question has been what JJ McCarthy would do when the lights shined brightest. He answered that with a star performance, throwing for 263 yards and three touchdowns without an interception while rushing for 27 yards and another score. The Wolverines feasted with big plays as they blew out the Buckeyes 45-23 to reach the Big 12 Championship Game and a likely berth in the College Football Playoffs.

  1. Ohio State (-1)

Injuries were certainly a factor for Ohio State, but Michigan also dealt with those. Quarterback CJ Stroud threw for 349 yards but turned it over twice as the Wolverines disrupted the Buckeyes and ran away with the game in the fourth quarter. There’s still a path to the playoffs for Ohio State, but it may take multiple upsets at this point.

  1. Penn State

The Nittany Lions weren’t terribly competitive against Michigan or Ohio State but cleaned up the rest of the slate quite nicely. Saturday’s 35-12 win over Michigan State capped a 10-2 regular season, putting Penn State in position to claim a New Year’s Six bowl bid, possibly even the Rose Bowl slot depending on whether Ohio State can sneak into the playoff.

  1. Purdue (+4)

Purdue wrapped up a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game following Iowa’s stumble against Nebraska. The Boilermakers beat Indiana 30-16, benefiting from an injury that knocked Hoosiers starting quarterback Dexter Williams II from the game. Making it a game with Michigan will be a challenge, but don’t sleep on quarterback Aidan O’Connell and company.

  1. Illinois (+1)

Perhaps a slightly odd bit of movement in our Big Ten Power Rankings this week, Illinois jumps past Minnesota with a 41-3 win over Northwestern. It’s not so much that the win over Northwestern was a quality win so much as it halted a three-game skid for the Illini, the primary reason they’d been dropping. And with both Illinois and Minnesota finishing at 8-4, the head-to-head win gives Illinois the move up.

  1. Minnesota (-1)

The Golden Gophers had to hold on for dear life to beat the Badgers, but they did so successfully despite a goal-to-go opportunity to tie it for Wisconsin in the final minute. Wisconsin became the first team this season to hold Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim (27 carries for 70 yards) under 100 yards rushing, but quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis made up for it with 319 yards passing and two touchdowns in a 23-16 win on the road.

  1. Iowa (-3)

The Hawkeyes were painful to watch all season long and few things will have been more painful for the fans than watching the team squander a chance to go to the Big Ten title game with a home loss to a Nebraska team that had lost five straight with an interim coach. But that’s what happened. Starting quarterback Spencer Petras was knocked from the game early after starting 1-of-6 passing and Alex Padilla finished with only 141 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 33 passing attempts in a 24-17 loss.

  1. Maryland (+1)

Maryland felt like it was stuck in no man’s land in the Big Ten Power Rankings all season, and it’s still arguably the most perplexing team in the league outside of Purdue. The Terps snapped a three-game losing skid with a 37-0 shutout of Rutgers. Maryland lost at Michigan by a touchdown, lost to Purdue by a failed two-point conversion and pushed Ohio State to the wire until a late strip-sack touchdown ended it. It also was blanked 30-0 by Penn State and lost 23-10 to Wisconsin.

  1. Wisconsin (-2)

Star running back Braelon Allen missed the game after valiantly battling through injuries this year to help the Badgers reach bowl eligibility, and Wisconsin’s offense struggled to get going. Then quarterback Graham Mertz was knocked out before the final drive with the game on the line. After getting down to first-and-goal from the 5-yard line on the drive, penalties backed Wisconsin all the way up to the 30-yard line and a last-second throw to the end zone fell incomplete.

  1. Nebraska (+2)

Mickey Joseph said this week his one regret in a memorable run as interim coach with Nebraska was that the Cornhuskers hadn’t closed out some winnable games. It did that on Saturday in a 24-17 win over Iowa that spoiled the Hawkeyes’ chances of reaching Indianapolis. Nebraska jumped all the way out to a 24-0 lead early in third quarter, watching Iowa slowly whittle the lead away… this time, Joseph’s bunch held on and closed it out.

  1. Indiana (-1)

Indiana faced a motivated Purdue squad and fell 30-16, dropping its eighth game in the last nine outings. Momentum from a win over Michigan State didn’t really carry over, with Indiana unable to turn 421 total yards in the contest into enough points. It’ll be back to the drawing board for Tom Allen and company after recording a combined 6-18 record the last two seasons.

  1. Michigan State (-1)

Michigan State couldn’t get anything going on the ground, watching its bowl eligibility hopes crumble in a 35-16 loss to Penn State. The Spartans ran for just 25 yards in the game, succumbing to the Nittany Lions’ much more balanced performance. It was a forgettable season for Mel Tucker and Michigan State.

  1. Rutgers

Rutgers won its first three games then won just one of the next nine. Saturday closed the campaign without much of a whimper as the Scarlett Knights were smoked 37-0 by the Terrapins. Greg Schiano‘s done a decent job with the program, but the team’s conference win total has declined in each of the last two years. Rutgers finished just 1-8 in the league this year, managing to stay out of the last spot in the Big Ten Power Rankings thanks to an abysmal year by Northwestern.

  1. Northwestern

One week after losing to Purdue by just a possession, Northwestern was right back to how a good chunk of the 2022 season played out: on the wrong end of a blowout. Illinois notched a 41-3 win, despite Northwestern holding a 321-292 advantage in total yardage. Six turnovers will do that. Quarterback Cole Freeman threw four interceptions and fumbled in the loss.

Want to see how this week’s power rankings compare to our previous edition? Check out the 2022 Week 12 Big Ten Power Rankings here!